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Kochi

Shore Excursions

Our most recommended Kochi Shore Excursions

Cochin: Alleppey Backwater Private Day Cruise by Houseboat

1. Cochin: Alleppey Backwater Private Day Cruise by Houseboat

Explore the famous Kerala backwaters of Alleppey on board a traditional houseboat. Alleppey, also known as Alappuzha, is located between the Arabian Sea and a web of rivers flowing into it. In the early 20th century, the then Viceroy of the Indian Empire, Lord Curzon was so mesmerized by the scenic beauty he declared that Alleppey was “The Venice of the East.” Following a pickup from Cochin Cruise Port or from Cochin Hotels, transfer to Aleppey to board your houseboat. Cruise slowly through the backwaters and village areas to marvel at the lush vegetation, paddy fields, coconut palms, and more. There’s no guide on board but there will be 3 staff members to look after you and make sure your experience is as relaxed as you could wish for. Enjoy a lunch of Keralan cusine as you gently cruise, before later transferring back to Cochin Port or your hotel.

Alleppey / Alappuzha Backwater Canoe (Shikara) Cruise

2. Alleppey / Alappuzha Backwater Canoe (Shikara) Cruise

Alleppey also called " Venice of the East" is an important tourist destination in India. The Backwaters of Alleppey are the most popular tourist attraction in Kerala. A houseboat cruise in these backwaters is a delightful experience. Alappuzha is a landmark between the broad Arabian sea and a web of rivers flowing into it. It is a town in Alappuzha District of Kerala state of southern India. In the early first decade of the 20th century the then Viceroy of the Indian Empire, Lord Curzon made a visit in the State to Alleppey, now Alappuzha. Fascinated by the scenic beauty of the place, in joy and amazement, he said, here nature has spent up on the land her richest bounties. In his exhilaration, he exclaimed, Alleppey, the Venice of the East. Itinerary : Pick-from Cochin Port or your hotel is at 9.00 am before the transfer to Aleppey (approximately 1.30 hours) to board the boat at 10:30 am. The boat will cruise slowly through the backwaters and village area of Aleppey with the main attraction during the cruise being the view of backwaters, paddy fields, coconut palms, and the villager's daily life. The cruise will finish around 1.30 pm and you get back to Cochin Port between 3.00 and 3.15 pm. 

Cochin: Private Heritage and Backwaters Houseboat Tour

3. Cochin: Private Heritage and Backwaters Houseboat Tour

You will be picked up from your hotel in Cochin or Cochin Cruise Port ships berth before beginning a 1.5-hour transfer to Alleppey to board your houseboat. You will then begin your journey, cruising slowly through the backwaters and village areas to marvel at the lush vegetation, paddy fields, coconut palms, and more. There will be 3 staff members to look after you and make sure your experience is as relaxed as you could wish for. Alleppey, also known as Alappuzha, is located between the Arabian Sea and the web of rivers flowing into it. In the early 20th century, the Viceroy of the Indian Empire, Lord Curzon, was so mesmerized by the scenic beauty that he declared that Alleppey was the “Venice of the East.” You can enjoy a lunch of Keralan cuisine on the houseboat, before later transferring to Fort Kochi to visit the famous Chinese nets, St. Francis Church and Dhobi Khana. Your tour will then conclude as you are driven back to your hotel in Cochin, or to the Cochin Port.

Kochi: Full-Day Mein Schiff Special Shore Excursion

4. Kochi: Full-Day Mein Schiff Special Shore Excursion

Board a traditional houseboat on Kerala’s backwaters, and savor an on-board buffet lunch as you sail by palm groves, villages and fields. Afterward, tour colonial era Fort Kochi, seeing the Chinese nets, St. Francis Church and more. Meet your guide at the portside. Then, travel by comfortable, air-conditioned coach through Kerala’s countryside to Alleppey (Alappuzha), the main gateway to the area’s inland rivers and canals. After roughly an hour and 45 minutes on the road, arrive at a waterway where your charming wooden and bamboo houseboat awaits you. Step aboard the traditionally built craft, find a spot on deck and drink in the scenery as you cruise the placid waters past paddy fields, coconut groves and rustic villages. Savor a delicious Keralan buffet lunch as you sail, enjoying dishes like fish, chicken, vegetables and rice against the rolling backdrop of the greenery. After about 2.5-hours on the water, disembark and return to Kochi for a tour of Fort Kochi, the city’s waterfront colonial era quarter. View the Chinese nets as you discover their exotic history, admire St. Francis Church, India’s oldest European church, and the impressive 19th century Santa Cruz Basilica, standing on the site of the original Portuguese built cathedral. Your shore excursion then finish with a port drop-off at about 17:00.

Cochin: Full-Day Private Shore Excursion

5. Cochin: Full-Day Private Shore Excursion

Explore the historic city of Cochin and the backwaters of Kerala on a full-day private tour, customized to your preferences. Following a pick-up at your city center hotel, or from the cruise ship terminal, relax in your chauffeur-driven transport as you investigate the heritage of one of India’s most enchanting areas. Drive to a local vegetable and spice market to immerse yourself in the everyday life of the city and see locals going about their business. Marvel at the scents of the spices and the bustle of the market. Enjoy a backwater cruise of Kerala’s canals, gliding along a narrow waterway surrounded by tropical vegetation and traditional fishing nets. After lunch at a Vedic village resort, climb aboard a tuk tuk for a short 3 mile (5 kilometer) tour to the Bhadra Kali Temple. Then, it’s time for a tour of Cochin city center. See heritage monuments, such as the small church of St. Francis. Originally built in 1503, it is the oldest European church in India and once contained the remains of the Portuguese explorer Vasco de Gama before they were removed to Lisbon. You will also wander the first Jewish settlement of India, visiting the Paradesi Synagogue, the oldest synagogue in the Commonwealth of Nations. If there are any Hindu temple village festivals at the time of your visit, arrangements can be made to see caparisoned elephants and tours can be further customized to accommodate.

From Cochin: Fort Kochi and Mattancherry Sightseeing Tour

6. From Cochin: Fort Kochi and Mattancherry Sightseeing Tour

See the Chinese fishing nets introduced in Kochi by traders from the court of Kublai Khan in the 14th century. See also the 16th-century St. Francis Church, the oldest European church in India, and the burial place of the Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama. Next on the 4-hour shore excursion is Santa Cruz Basilica. Admire the interior decorated with frescoes, murals, and paintings depicting scenes from the life of Christ. Visit the Mattancherry Palace, built by the Portuguese. See murals with scenes from Hindu tales. Next door is the Paradesi Synagogue, the oldest active synagogue in South India. Admire the brass pulpit, glass chandelier, and hand-painted Chinese porcelain floor tiles.

Cochin: Full Day Guided Tour

7. Cochin: Full Day Guided Tour

Experience Cochin on this full day tour with a professional guide. Meet at the Cochin Port cruise terminal and take the ferry to the vibrant Mattancherry. Take an iconic local Tuc-Tuc to visit the Pardesi Synagogue, the Dutch Palace, the spice market, Fort Kochi, and various other must-see attractions. This fun and eclectic tour will show you the diversity that India and Cochin has to offer, exploring various cultures and traditions and experiencing new and exotic cuisines. Your local guide will be able to teach you some of the fun facts and hidden gems of the area.

Kochi: Private Sightseeing Tuk-Tuk Tour

8. Kochi: Private Sightseeing Tuk-Tuk Tour

The adventure begins with pickup from your accommodation in your very own private tuk-tuk. Arrive at the first stop of the day and marvel at the city’s iconic Chinese fishing nets which were introduced by traders in the 14th century. Take a stroll along the shore to see the local fishermen who still use these nets today, then head to St. Francis Church, the oldest European church in India. The church was constructed in 1503 by Portuguese friars, and is now the burial place of Vasco da Gama, a Portuguese explorer who led the first ships that sailed directly from Europe to India. Continue the tour to the Santa Cruz Basilica, which is one of the largest and most impressive churches in India. Boasting two soaring spires and a bright, white-washed exterior, the church is a real treat for the eyes. Head inside and find the walls decorated with stunning frescoes, intricate murals, and large paintings that depict the life of Jesus. Hop back in the tuk-tuk and make your way to Mattancherry Palace, which was also built by the Portuguese in the 1500s. The palace is famous for its breathtaking murals which portray classic Hindu tales such as Ramanaya and Mahabharata. Later, take a trip to the Paradesi Synagogue, the oldest active synagogue in South India. Admire the synagogue's ornate brass pulpit, Belgian glass chandeliers, and hand-painted Chinese porcelain floor tiles. From the synagogue, wander around the neighboring Jew Town, a central location for the spice trade. As you peruse the stalls, soak up the vibrant atmosphere of locals going about their day and be enveloped by the aroma of ginger, cardamom, turmeric, and cloves. At the end of an unforgettable experience, sit back and relax in the tuk-tuk on the return journey to your accommodation.

Backwater Houseboat and Fort Kochi Tour from Cochin Port

9. Backwater Houseboat and Fort Kochi Tour from Cochin Port

Benefit from pickup at the cruise ship docks at Cochin Port, and journey on the road to board a houseboat on the backwaters of Kerala (approx 1 hour and 45 minutes). Cruise slowly through the hidden backwaters of Alappuzha (also known as "Alleppey"), considered the hub of the state's backwaters and home to a vast network of waterways and boats. Venture through village areas and the landscape of the Laccadive Sea to marvel at the lush vegetation, paddy fields, coconut palms, and much more. There will be 3 staff members along with your guide to look after you and make sure your experience is as relaxed as possible. Enjoy a lunch of Keralan cuisine as you gently navigate the waterways, which includes rice, vegetable dishes, fish, chicken, and more. End your houseboat cruise and later journey to the serene Fort Kochi area. Marvel at the Cheena vala (Chinese fishing nets) in the Arabian Sea, and see other attractions of the region. Then, benefit from drop-off back at your cruise ship in Cochin Port.

Frequently asked questions about Kochi Shore Excursions

What are other things to do than Shore Excursions that are worth visiting in Kochi?

What are the best Kochi Shore Excursions?

Which Kochi Shore Excursions are taking additional COVID-19 precautions?

These Kochi Shore Excursions are taking additional COVID-19 precautions:

Other Sightseeing Options in Kochi

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What people are saying about Kochi

Overall rating

4.4 / 5

based on 56 reviews

This company has great communications. The tour guide was on time and I group was on our way. The mini bus to travel to the houseboat was comfortable. Our group of 10 had plenty of room. The houseboat was very interesting. There are 2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms on board as they also use this for overnight tours for 4 people. Our group of 10 had seats to watch as we cruised down the canal & lake We were served a nice lunch that all enjoyed. Thanks for a wonderful day.

Great overview of Kochi! The tour guide (Jude) was very knowledgeable, spoke great English, and was very friendly. Highly enjoyed this experience, would recommend this tour!

Enjoyed this houseboat tour. Be prepared for a 2 hour ride each way. Interesting to see the communities. It is a long ride but worth it

Everything worked wonderfully. Excellent guide, spectacular bus transfers in Indian traffic, wonderful boat trip in the backwaters

Excellent, very interesting and a great meal with very good staff and the boat was amazing.